29 January 2015

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East Midlands daily launches new weekly edition

A circulation battle is in prospect in an East Midlands town after a regional daily launched a new weekly edition there.

The Northcliffe-owned Leicester Mercury has launched a new edition in Loughborough with ten pages of local news and an initial print run of 7,000 copies.

Two journalists from the Loughborough area have been recruited to generate content and produce the pages, both of them working mainly from home.

The weekly Loughborough Echo, owned by Trinity Mirror, is currently the main paid-for title in the university town, with an average weekly circulation of 16,335 according to the most recent ABC figures.

The new title, which hit the streets for the first time today, will have the same 45p cover price as the Leicester daily and a familiar masthead adapted from its stablemate.

Northcliffe says it has been produced “to meet a clear demand in the area for grassroots news which has been expressed by retailers and local people.”

Mercury editor Richard Bettsworth said: “We know that people want hyper local news; what is going on in their communities and down their street. What we are doing is trying to provide that news in a different way than in the past.

“The traditional approach to producing an editionalised paper with an area office is just not affordable in these times and we have to be innovative if we are going to build a future for the publishing industry.

“It is a bold move to find a new way of delivering the news that people want, building our readership and providing advertisers a great opportunity to engage with the local community.

“We think this is a positive statement about the future of print and we are excited to be making it.”

Richard said the Loughborough Mercury would be a “bright, informative and entertaining new local paper” which would build on the Leicester title’s existing strengths on Wednesdays.

These include a sports section, eight-page jobs supplement and entertainment listings as well as the ten pages of specific Loughborough news.


  1. Kevin Duffy, Manchester

    Hurrah! There’s life in the dead tree yet! Good luck to them.

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  2. In Cod We Trust

    That splash is 50 years old . . .

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  3. Andrew

    Hyperlocal isn’t about spotting a town where you can do a one-day a week slip edition with a few pages of local news. Hyperlocal is about grass roots-up news, with boundaries set by natural communities. Does the whole of Loughborough care about everything that goes on in Loughborough?
    This isn’t a new newspaper, it’s a daily newspaper putting some local content around a regular newspaper once a week. And how long til some bright spark in Leicester thinks they should put all the week’s Leicester news into one newspaper, once a week?

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  4. Andrew

    Really? A Leicester newspaper wrapped up in some Loughborough news once a week?

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  5. Tsk

    “Event’s focus is on the moptops”

    I can’t work out if there should be an apostrophe in that or not. It looks odd but might well be right. What’s the verdict, Grammar Police?

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  6. Paul Grinnell, Peterborough

    Good luck. Loughborough is a busy and newsy town so shouldn’t be difficult to fill 10 pages. It does sound incredibly like an idea that was thought about and then dropped many years ago, when Harry Martin and I were the Merc’s Loughborough reporters! Anyway, good to see newspapers competing and the Echo will put up a tough fight.

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  7. davy gravy, Formerly Leicester

    I wrote a report at the Leic Merc suggesting they do this, costing it out etc – in 1997. The especially radical suggestion was to produce the local pages locally. Good to see it’s an idea who’s time
    has come.

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  8. davy gravy (aka Tim Cowen), Definitely not Leicester

    Actually, just seen Paul Grinnell’s comment. That was it Paul – the very report I wrote. It was 15 years ago!

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  9. Ex-Merc

    I see davy gravy still has problems with where to put an apostrophe!

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  10. davy gravy (aka Tim Cowen)

    Cheeky s*d. I think I got it right that time (albeit that the spirit of your remarks are probably harsh but fair….)

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  11. davy gravy (aka Tim Cowen)

    Ahh, just spotted the “who’s” time has come. Mea Culpa

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